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“Disappointing” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Kempinski Hotel Bahia

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Kempinski Hotel Bahia
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Carretera de Cadiz, km 159 | Playa El Padron, 29680 Estepona, Spain   |  
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Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Estepona
Hagen, Germany
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Renovation work going on directly next to the restaurent where the breakfast buffet was offered. lots of drilling and hammerig on weekdays. - this was not indicated on the hotel web site, nor did reception provide this information on arrival - not worthy of a kempinski hotel.

hotel staff was overall friendly with few exceptions.sometimes reception staff seemed a bit inexperienced and/or new to the hotel, the information provided was not always correct.

the room was reasonably sized. the (in Spain and Portugal common) hard mattress was heavily worn out and saggy - definitely not 5 stars. decorative cushions with an unpleasant rancid smell. carpet with some stains. sleeper sofa cover very dirty. signs of moisture in the wall close to balcony. bathroom spacious. In average only 2-3 out of 4 towels were really clean, some towels were frayed. a bit of mold in the shower stall.

the breakfast buffet offered a lot of choice and seemed excellent on first view. the quality of the products was however varying from very good to just average or even less. bread and pastries were not always fresh. in fine weather, part of the buffet, including ham and saussages (not on a cooling plate!), was in bathed in plain sunshine. very often, coffee served at the table was not really hot. staff was polite though, so it was no problem to get some hot coffee, but one had to ask.
roomservice: the service itself was swift and reliable. food of varying quality. it happened that the dish served did not fully match the description in the room service menu. and lukewarm coffee ...

beautiful garden with several pools. service around the pool however partly poor to nonexistent. on a beautiful, sunny day i heard and saw an elderly gentlemen complaining about a long unsuccesful wait at the pool area bar and that he and his wife (both apparently well in the seventies and using a walking stick) had to come all way back and struggle up the stairs to the lobby bar for a drink. there was no apology or expression of regret from hotel staff.

hotel "drugstore": opening hours were posted on the door. the information that the store was closed during weekends was not provided though. annoyingly, even on weekdays the store was sometimes closed during opening hours. reception commented that the lady would be in the storage area or having lunch. again not the slightest "sorry for the inconvenience".

internet was 7 €/hour (ridiculous) and 35 €/week. many hotels still charge for internet access - but one could expect that a kempinski hotel could read the signs and provide free internet access (or just include it in the roomrate).

hard to imagine that this hotel could stay in the market as a "kempinski" without any profound renovation and re-structuring of services.

all in all a very disappointing experience. would i come back - definitely not.

Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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454 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
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UK
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

after many years of traveling and staying in hotels i have come to realise that there is no such thing as perfection.

the important thing about a hotel is that the parts that you like the most are the reasons that you go back for. the little things that irritate you about every place have to be overruled by the great things.

the Kempniski Estepona was not perfect, and there wasnt really anything that made me want to go back.

Pluses - the gardens are beautiful, the rooms are clean and a reasonable size. the breakfast has lots of choice but the service outside (if you could get a table) was painfully slow.

minuses - the SPA was closed for rennovation and they hadnt told us (wasnt even on their website). the restaurants were closed except one that served cooked frozen food (yes, really for a five star hotel this is poor), the service was mostly miserable (one staff member during our stay was semi-friendly) and slow. they charge 40 euro to use the relaxation bed in the grounds (unheard of by me) and needless to say no-one was using them. the beach is not child friendly (i.e. cannot make sand castles!)

I was under the impression that the service level was a national trait (Manyana), but after we ate at two restaurants outside the hotel which were fantastic everything I realised it was just this hotel.

I would like to go back to the area, but you can be sure I will not be staying here.

Room Tip: if you have to stay, ask for a sea view room looking over the gardens, they are beautiful
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herndon, Virginia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Getting around to some old reviews.. I stayed here last year with my wife. When looking at the pictures from the website, the place appears to be amazing. However, it's not quite as nice as it appears. It's still nice -- I mean you're in the South of Spain and along the coast -- how bad could it be? :-)

However, a few things in particular stand out to me:

- The beach is a bit rocky -- into the water it's very rocky. You won't be able to go into the water very far unless you have shoes, steel feet, or don't mind bleeding everywhere. If you go to other places not far away, the beach situation is a lot nicer.

- King bed = two beds pushed together. I think this is sometimes common in Europe but I hate it. Just get a real single king mattress!

- Sixt -- The onsite rental car place tried to screw us. The next day after I returned a car we rented for part of a day, they tried to tell me I had damage on the vehicle. I was rather astounded and thought they were kidding at first. We drove to one place -- parked for the day -- and drove back. Never was there an opportunity for the car to be damaged. I come out and they show me one of the smallest scratches I've ever seen in the front bumper. This wouldn't even register in the U.S.. Even more important.. I didn't do the damage. I video taped the whole thing and took pictures and refused to "fill out an accident report." You could use a sharpie to cover this up .. or touch up paint. What a joke. I said they were welcome to proceed how they saw fit and that I would dispute the whole thing. I never heard back from them. I assume it was some weird type of shake down. I'd recommend you video tape (with our phone) your car when you get in and when you return it for evidence against this kind of B.S.


If you're there -- you have to go to Gibraltar. Try to negotiate a cab rate in advance -- both there and back. They have a book they can pull out -- make sure you don't get ripped off.

I'd also highly recommend going to Tarifa! This place is amazing. It's quaint and has amazing beaches that are *empty*. I predict this place will become a big tourist destination one day. Tarifa has one of the ports you can catch a ferry to Morroco (Tanger). We did this on our trip and had a fun time. People there will try to sell you stuff pretty much non-stop. Very pushy. So be prepared to bargain or tell people no thanks 100,000,000 times.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Booked through a travelzoo special offer, we stayed here for 2 nights in October. We travelled by hire car and did find the hotel quite difficult to find but were not disappointed when we got there. The hotel is modern and luxurious. We had been allocated a room overlooking a very busy road and asked to be moved and were offered 2 alternatives. We chose a garden view room and were delighted with it. We went out to explore the area the first night, Estepona was very quiet at that time of year but looks like it would be a nice place in the summer months. The gardens and pool areas are beautiful and towels and sunbeds were plentyful with enough space between that it felt quite private. Breakfasts were fantastic with a huge selection on offer, eggs and pancakes are made to order for you. Dinner was included on our offer on one of the nights and we chose the second night as there was soul/80's singer/pianist entertainment on in the dining room that night. Dinner was from a restricted menu but was delicious and was served with wine as part of the offer. Loved the turn down service and the little sweet left by the bed. A lovely short break and great value for money. Would def recommend.

Room Tip: Ask not to be given a road view room
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We had a side seaview room which was comfortable but did not get the sun. The hotel is lovely as are the gardens and pool area. You could sit wherever on the lawned areas and were never in earshot of other guests. We spent four nights there in June and were disappointed to find only one restaurant open, which was pricey and so was the wine. We were told the seafood restaurant near the beach was closed - one night because of a private function and the other day because of a wedding. Don't know what happened on the other two nights. Fortunately we had a car so went out most days. Estepona is delightful and you can eat very cheaply there in comparison. The situation of the hotel is such there there is nowhere to walk out to - so a car is essential. It is also difficult to access the hotel if you are coming from the north. You can see the hotel but to get to the other side is not well signposted. We went past the hotel two or three times before we located the exit to the hotel. Would recommend the hotel for a short break but make sure that there is more than one restaurant open - after all it is supposed to be five star!!

Room Tip: Ask for a room near to sea if you want sun on your balcony at some part of the day.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
368 helpful votes 368 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

My wife, our 7 years old son and myself spent 7 nights in October 2012 in Kempinski Hotel Bahia, Estepona. Upon arrival by privat transfer from Malaga airport, we had to walk by ourselves to the reception as nobody was present to assist us with our bags... At check in, there was one couple in front of us, so it was ok as we did not wait to long. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a Deluxe full Sea View room, which was the room number 721. Actually the rooms 719 to 722 (7th floor) have the best location as they are just below the Poniente Suite and just above Suite del Mar, so expect the best view to be there !
My advice before to check in is : become member of the GHA program, as it will give you free internet access by Wifi and complimentary water bottles in the room. Be also a member of the Leading Hotels of the World program, even if you don't use it, it can help you sometimes for an eventual upgrade. Our room was of high standing, with a flat TV screen, mini bar, nice balcony, warm colors (yellow and orange style) and the location is just above the main restaurant and in front of you is the restaurant La Cabana del Mar, which is by the way excellent ! There is also a big tower on the left side of the room.
The beach was not very nice as there are a lot of stones and it is difficult to swim from the hotel area, furthermore the sea was at 17 degrees Celsius... You need to walk 300 metres left or right from the hotel to get better beach conditions. The 3 outdoor pools are very nice, however, only one was heated, at 26 degrees Celsius, which was ok, but the others were at 22 and 21 degrees, it is not possible to swim with pleasure when the water is so cold...
About the Kempinski SPA : to our big disappointment, sauna and turkish bath were under renovation process and it will last for 1-2 additional months !!! So we could "only" enjoy the small, 90 cm. deep only indoor pool, where kids are accepted. Please note that the fitness is very good but kids are not allowed at all ! So, in case of bad weather, there are not many things to be done inside the hotel (well maybe kids club but they close from 11:00 to 13:30...).
The food during all our stay was of high quality, very good and the portions given were big. So, really no complain at all about food. The choice at breakfast is really good and I advise you to try the restaurant Cabana del Mar, where we ate twice, it was really good and if you book the best table as we did, you will really enjoy your dinner.

Generally, to resume, Hotel itself is excellent, staff are friendly, helpul and doing good job. However, to enjoy fully the Hotel, it must be good weather conditions and SPA must be fully operational, which was not our case ! Except Selwo Aventura Park (animals Park), there is nothing at all to do or to see close to the Hotel.

Last thing, the balcony of our room number 721 was not protected at all against rain and you can not see the sunset from this position. Sunrise is ok but not sunset !

So, to resume our stay :

Positive points :
--------------------

1) Hotel is of high quality, clean, with a very good garden.
2) Maintenance reaction was very good as inside SPA a shower had a problem with water evacuation, they came very fast and repaired immediately.
3) Food was excellent and quantity also.
4) Staff was very friendly and helpful.
5) Room service was always fast, efficient and almost without mistakes (forgot butter one time...).
6) Excellent place to stay in, when the sun is present !

Points to be improved :
-----------------------------

1) Nobody to meet us upon arrival in the Hotel !
2) About pool area, guests are leaving their used towels on their sunbeds and leaving without coming back, why nobody of the staff is removing them to give access to the sun beds ?
3) Nothing to do outside the Hotel in case of bad weather.
4) Sauna and turkish bath were under renovation and we did not know it until we read it on tripadvisor a day before departure !
5) Our kid was refused inside fitness, during a rainy day, with nobody else but us inside...
6) Balcony of room 721 is not protected at all against rain.
7) There are not enough staff at breakfast as after 09:00 am, when restaurants starts to be full, your empty plates can wait a long time before to be removed from your table...

Well that's it. I will soon add photos of our stay to make the things clear to your eyes and some small videos that you will be able to see in a few days by watching : www.youtube.com, subject being : otterboris.

We enjoyed a lot the place, but due to the above mentionned points, we will not come back, it was a good one time experience.

Room Tip: Best location are rooms 719-722, just between the Suites !
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

As we booked late and cheaply, I was nervous, and as it turned out I was right, they gave us two rooms on the 7th floor, possibly the closest to the road! but we could'nt hear the road at all with the balcony door shut due to the perfect insulation.
Now I know next time I'll ask (and pay) for garden view.
The room was indeed 5 star.
The garden, manicured, with comfortable loungers.
The beach only 10metres wide and with imported sand to cover the pebbles, but the views are fabulous.
The pools, perfect for children.
The restaurant food impeccable, particularly at la cabana where a light lunch (a generous variation of a salade nicoise) will set You back only 13.50euros!
The breakfast is fantastic! the cleanliness and impeccable quality and service truly de luxe.
The staff are friendly and professional, nothing is too much trouble.

Room Tip: garden view will help in reducing road noise.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kempinski Hotel Bahia

Address: Carretera de Cadiz, km 159 | Playa El Padron, 29680 Estepona, Spain
Phone Number:
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Malaga > Costa del Sol > Estepona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Estepona
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Estepona
#2 Romantic Hotel in Estepona
#3 Spa Hotel in Estepona
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Estepona
#5 Family Hotel in Estepona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kempinski Hotel Bahia 5*
Number of rooms: 145
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just a short drive from Marbella, the Kempinski Hotel Bahia is a lavish, five-star property sitting within breathtaking subtropical gardens, and affords extraordinary views of the Mediterranean Sea, Gibraltar and African Coastline. The Kempinski Hotel Bahia has created a fresh and elegant look to its 128 spacious rooms and 17 luxurious suites. It boasts a host of fabulous restaurants and bars (some seasonal), Kempinski Spa with sauna and steam room, and excellent children's facilities, amongst other things. Situated near most Andalusian cities and a mere 45 min. Drive to Malaga International Airport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kempinski Resort Bahia Estepona
Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona, Spain - Costa Del Sol

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